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Roll Yer Own' animation festival showcases local talent

Image

On Monday, July 15, ASIFA Atlanta (the Atlanta chapter of the Associaion Internaionale du Film d'Animation) showcased a broad cross-section of works from up-and-coming local filmmakers and animators, illustrating that animation will remain a vibrant form in Atlanta for years to come. Most notable about the the line-up was the quality and quantity of work from female talent in a traditionally male dominated field.

The show began with One Minute Fluidtoons Five, by former ASIFA-Atlanta president Brett W. Thompson. This installment of his occasional series wrings the most from its abstract minimalist marker on paper Keith Herring by way of R. Crumb figures as they transform, morph and dissolve into one another like a hallucinatory orgy.

Harriet-Lane Ngo's Olive, by contrast, feels like the childrens' book come to life. This SCAD project features richly rendered forest backgrounds, handcrafted from ink and paint, upon which a little girl encounters an enchanted tree in a mysterious forrest.

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  • Courtesy ASIFA-Atlanta
  • Strange Wonderful by Stephanie Swart



Strange Wonderful by RISD's Stephanie Swart defies simple description, but that won't stop me from trying...



More By This Writer

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Article

Wednesday August 14, 2013 04:00 am EDT
James Ponsoldt's film is an honest portrayal of teenage abandon | more...
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Gary Hustwit's 2011 documentary Urbanized will screen on Monday, May 13, at Georgia Tech's Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium at 6:30 pm in partnership between the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

The film screens as part of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's current exhibition Jon Pack & Gary Hustwit: The Olympic City.

We caught up with Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's Artistic Director Stuart Horodner to discuss some of the issues in the film, and how they apply to Atlanta.   

We begin with Dunham-Jones, who is featured in the film.


Discuss the process of participating in the film.  How did Gary Hustwit reach out to you?  How long was the interview, etc?  
 
I'm not sure how they found me  -  but I suspect in their research on urbanism they found my TedX talk. Gary and a cameraman came to Atlanta and filmed me at Georgia Tech for a little over an hour. They told me to expect only about 1-3 minutes to make it into the film so at the end of the interview I had NO idea what parts they would select. 


*Gary Hustwit, Urbanized
*Ellen Dunham-Jones



You get one of the best quotes in the film - paraphrasing Supreme Court Chief Justice Potter Stewart's famous line about pornography to define "sprawl."  Given that there's only so much a film can convey in its timeframe, were there any points where you feel the film missed the mark, or failed to make your case?  

It was clear from Gary's questions that he wanted me to talk about sprawl. I was happy to do so, but kept trying to squeak in discussion of solutions to sprawl and my research on retrofitting suburbia. I love the film but wish there had also been inclusion of the ways we are reinhabiting, redeveloping and regreening underperforming suburban properties."
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Gary Hustwit's 2011 documentary ''Urbanized'' will screen on Monday, May 13, at Georgia Tech's Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium at 6:30 pm in partnership between the [http://www.thecontemporary.org/programming/2013-spring-programming/film-screening-urbanized/|Atlanta Contemporary Art Center] and the [http://www.coa.gatech.edu/|Georgia Tech School of Architecture].

The film screens as part of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's current exhibition ''[http://www.thecontemporary.org/exhibitions/jon-pack-gary-hustwit-the-olympic-city/|Jon Pack & Gary Hustwit: The Olympic City]''.

We caught up with Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's Artistic Director Stuart Horodner to discuss some of the issues in the film, and how they apply to Atlanta.   

We begin with Dunham-Jones, who is featured in the film.

____
__Discuss the process of participating in the film.  How did Gary Hustwit reach out to you?  How long was the interview, etc? __ 
 
I'm not sure how they found me  -  but I suspect in their research on urbanism they found my [http://blog.ted.com/2010/06/29/retrofitting_su/|TedX talk]. Gary and a cameraman came to Atlanta and filmed me at Georgia Tech for a little over an hour. They told me to expect only about 1-3 minutes to make it into the film so at the end of the interview I had NO idea what parts they would select. 

{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/dr-dunham-jones/u/original/8188203/1368054748-screen_shot_2013-05-08_at_7.09.27_pm.png"}
*Gary Hustwit, Urbanized
*Ellen Dunham-Jones


____
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It was clear from Gary's questions that he wanted me to talk about sprawl. I was happy to do so, but kept trying to squeak in discussion of solutions to sprawl and my research on retrofitting suburbia. I love the film but wish there had also been inclusion of the ways we are reinhabiting, redeveloping and regreening underperforming suburban properties."
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Gary Hustwit's 2011 documentary Urbanized will screen on Monday, May 13, at Georgia Tech's Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium at 6:30 pm in partnership between the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

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We caught up with Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's Artistic Director Stuart Horodner to discuss some of the issues in the film, and how they apply to Atlanta.   

We begin with Dunham-Jones, who is featured in the film.


Discuss the process of participating in the film.  How did Gary Hustwit reach out to you?  How long was the interview, etc?  
 
I'm not sure how they found me  -  but I suspect in their research on urbanism they found my TedX talk. Gary and a cameraman came to Atlanta and filmed me at Georgia Tech for a little over an hour. They told me to expect only about 1-3 minutes to make it into the film so at the end of the interview I had NO idea what parts they would select. 


*Gary Hustwit, Urbanized
*Ellen Dunham-Jones



You get one of the best quotes in the film - paraphrasing Supreme Court Chief Justice Potter Stewart's famous line about pornography to define "sprawl."  Given that there's only so much a film can convey in its timeframe, were there any points where you feel the film missed the mark, or failed to make your case?  

It was clear from Gary's questions that he wanted me to talk about sprawl. I was happy to do so, but kept trying to squeak in discussion of solutions to sprawl and my research on retrofitting suburbia. I love the film but wish there had also been inclusion of the ways we are reinhabiting, redeveloping and regreening underperforming suburban properties.             13073636 8179452                          Ellen Dunham-Jones and Stuart Horodner talk architecture and design "
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Thursday May 9, 2013 10:10 am EDT



Gary Hustwit's 2011 documentary Urbanized will screen on Monday, May 13, at Georgia Tech's Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium at 6:30 pm in partnership between the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

The film screens as part of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's current exhibition Jon Pack & Gary Hustwit: The Olympic City.

We caught up with Ellen...

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  string(4132) "In 2006, Sir Salman Rushdie sat in to guest host "<a href="http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/410" target="_blank" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight's_Children">Midnight's Children to the big screen.

In advance of the film's theatrical release, opening in Atlanta on Friday, May 10, at the Regal Tara, Rushdie and Mehta sat down to discuss their unique partnership, the challenges of adaptation, how zealots "infected" them both, and how outsiders like Danny Boyle just don't "get" India.

This is your first foray into creating a work of cinema. Why pick the one novel many called "unfilmable?"

Salman Rushdie: Nothing is unfilmable. Some things are easier to film than others. When we began kicking around ideas, Deepa said she wanted to do Midnight's Children. I taught a course at Emory on literary adaptation.

When you look at films like Visconti's The Leopard, Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, John Huston's The Dead, the films are every bit as good as the novels. In the case of Lord of the Rings, the films are better than the Tolkien. When you accept the challenge to adapt Midnight's Children, you try and make a film that sits as an equal alongside the book.

Is it better to be involved in the process, or just sell the rights, cash the check, and hope for the best?

SR: I considered the two routes — but then I thought, "This is the first of my books to be adapted. I'd hate to go to the premiere and think, 'Oh no ... this isn't what I wanted.'" So I'd rather roll up my sleeves, and get involved.

As the director Deepa Mehta, what was it like for you to work with the author of the work itself? To collaborate with a Salman Rushdie — or in this case — the Salman Rushdie?

Deepa Mehta: First, let's be clear. It was never an option for Salman to "take the money and run" because there was no money! I felt very strongly that the only person who could write the Midnight's Children script that I want to direct is Salman himself. That's the best thing about working with someone of his caliber — he knows movies, and he understands the screenplay cannot be a facsimile of the book. It must become its own entity. This is an iconic work. He was the only one who could remain true to its essence while making the changes necessary for it to work as a movie.

We didn't always agree, but we developed a way of communicating that was really challenging, exciting, and strangely civilized. We would try things out. We were brutally honest with each other throughout the process.

You share Indian roots but now both live in the West. You've also both inspired violent backlash to your work from zealots. Is there a link between controversy and your cross-cultural identities?

SR: Controversy is the disease we've both suffered from. It's not the subject of our work. It's not how we think of ourselves.

DM: We're both "survivors."

SR: Growing up in Bombay, the mixture of cultures is already there. It's a very cosmopolitan city. It is not ancient; rather it is the city the British built. Mixed culture is intrinsic to Bombay.

DM: I spent my formative years in Bombay as well. Whether it's reading Dickens, the influence of British culture didn't disappear when the government changed hands.

How do you feel about Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, films set in India, told from decidedly British perspectives?

SR: I don't like them. Slumdog has a kind of energy to it. I haven't seen Exotic Marigold. I saw the trailer and didn't think I could bear it.

DM: I saw Exotic Marigold Hotel, and found its treatment of India cringe-worthy.

SR: Danny Boyle is a gifted director, but when Slumdog came out, he said that he'd never been to India before and he didn't know anything about it. Imagine an Indian director coming to America to make a film and saying such a thing. How easy a ride do you think he'd get?

When I write a novel like Midnight's Children, I want it to feel like an "insider" book. I want the reader to feel like the book comes out of the shared experience of being an Indian in that generation.

Midnight's Children comes out of that same spirit. "
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In advance of the film's theatrical release, opening in Atlanta on Friday, May 10, at the Regal Tara, Rushdie and Mehta sat down to discuss their unique partnership, the challenges of adaptation, how zealots "infected" them both, and how outsiders like Danny Boyle just don't "get" India.

__This is your first foray into creating a work of cinema. Why pick the one novel many called "unfilmable?"__

__Salman Rushdie:__ Nothing is unfilmable. Some things are easier to film than others. When we began kicking around ideas, Deepa said she wanted to do ''Midnight's Children''. I taught a course [at Emory] on literary adaptation.

When you look at films like Visconti's ''The Leopard'', Scorsese's ''The Age of Innocence'', John Huston's ''The Dead'', the films are every bit as good as the novels. In the case of ''Lord of the Rings'', the films are better than the Tolkien. When you accept the challenge to adapt ''Midnight's Children'', you try and make a film that sits as an equal alongside the book.

__Is it better to be involved in the process, or just sell the rights, cash the check, and hope for the best?__

__SR:__ I considered the two routes — but then I thought, "This is the first of my books to be adapted. I'd hate to go to the premiere and think, 'Oh no ... this isn't what I wanted.'" So I'd rather roll up my sleeves, and get involved.

__As the director [Deepa Mehta], what was it like for you to work with the author of the work itself? To collaborate with a Salman Rushdie — or in this case — the Salman Rushdie?__

__Deepa Mehta:__ First, let's be clear. It was never an option for Salman to "take the money and run" because there was no money! I felt very strongly that the only person who could write the ''Midnight's Children'' [script] that I want to direct is Salman himself. That's the best thing about working with someone of his caliber — he knows movies, and he understands the screenplay cannot be a facsimile of the book. It must become its own entity. This is an iconic work. He was the only one who could remain true to its essence while making the changes necessary for it to work as a movie.

We didn't always agree, but we developed a way of communicating that was really challenging, exciting, and strangely civilized. We would try things out. We were brutally honest with each other throughout the process.

__You share Indian roots but now both live in the West. You've also both inspired violent backlash to your work from zealots. Is there a link between controversy and your cross-cultural identities?__

__SR:__ Controversy is the disease we've both suffered from. It's not the subject of our work. It's not how we think of ourselves.

__DM:__ We're both "survivors."

__SR:__ Growing up in Bombay, the mixture of cultures is already there. It's a very cosmopolitan city. It is not ancient; rather it is the city the British built. Mixed culture is intrinsic to Bombay.

__DM:__ I spent my formative years in Bombay as well. Whether it's reading Dickens, the influence of British culture didn't disappear when the government changed hands.

__How do you feel about ''Slumdog Millionaire'' and ''The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel''__'','' __films set in India, told from decidedly British perspectives?__

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__DM:__ I saw ''Exotic Marigold Hotel'', and found its treatment of India cringe-worthy.

__SR:__ Danny Boyle is a gifted director, but when ''Slumdog'' came out, he said that he'd never been to India before and he didn't know anything about it. Imagine an Indian director coming to America to make a film and saying such a thing. How easy a ride do you think he'd get?

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In advance of the film's theatrical release, opening in Atlanta on Friday, May 10, at the Regal Tara, Rushdie and Mehta sat down to discuss their unique partnership, the challenges of adaptation, how zealots "infected" them both, and how outsiders like Danny Boyle just don't "get" India.

This is your first foray into creating a work of cinema. Why pick the one novel many called "unfilmable?"

Salman Rushdie: Nothing is unfilmable. Some things are easier to film than others. When we began kicking around ideas, Deepa said she wanted to do Midnight's Children. I taught a course at Emory on literary adaptation.

When you look at films like Visconti's The Leopard, Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, John Huston's The Dead, the films are every bit as good as the novels. In the case of Lord of the Rings, the films are better than the Tolkien. When you accept the challenge to adapt Midnight's Children, you try and make a film that sits as an equal alongside the book.

Is it better to be involved in the process, or just sell the rights, cash the check, and hope for the best?

SR: I considered the two routes — but then I thought, "This is the first of my books to be adapted. I'd hate to go to the premiere and think, 'Oh no ... this isn't what I wanted.'" So I'd rather roll up my sleeves, and get involved.

As the director Deepa Mehta, what was it like for you to work with the author of the work itself? To collaborate with a Salman Rushdie — or in this case — the Salman Rushdie?

Deepa Mehta: First, let's be clear. It was never an option for Salman to "take the money and run" because there was no money! I felt very strongly that the only person who could write the Midnight's Children script that I want to direct is Salman himself. That's the best thing about working with someone of his caliber — he knows movies, and he understands the screenplay cannot be a facsimile of the book. It must become its own entity. This is an iconic work. He was the only one who could remain true to its essence while making the changes necessary for it to work as a movie.

We didn't always agree, but we developed a way of communicating that was really challenging, exciting, and strangely civilized. We would try things out. We were brutally honest with each other throughout the process.

You share Indian roots but now both live in the West. You've also both inspired violent backlash to your work from zealots. Is there a link between controversy and your cross-cultural identities?

SR: Controversy is the disease we've both suffered from. It's not the subject of our work. It's not how we think of ourselves.

DM: We're both "survivors."

SR: Growing up in Bombay, the mixture of cultures is already there. It's a very cosmopolitan city. It is not ancient; rather it is the city the British built. Mixed culture is intrinsic to Bombay.

DM: I spent my formative years in Bombay as well. Whether it's reading Dickens, the influence of British culture didn't disappear when the government changed hands.

How do you feel about Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, films set in India, told from decidedly British perspectives?

SR: I don't like them. Slumdog has a kind of energy to it. I haven't seen Exotic Marigold. I saw the trailer and didn't think I could bear it.

DM: I saw Exotic Marigold Hotel, and found its treatment of India cringe-worthy.

SR: Danny Boyle is a gifted director, but when Slumdog came out, he said that he'd never been to India before and he didn't know anything about it. Imagine an Indian director coming to America to make a film and saying such a thing. How easy a ride do you think he'd get?

When I write a novel like Midnight's Children, I want it to feel like an "insider" book. I want the reader to feel like the book comes out of the shared experience of being an Indian in that generation.

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Tuesday May 7, 2013 04:00 am EDT
The celebrated novelist and director Deepa Mehta talk about the difficulty of adapting a novel for the screen | more...
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*Photo: Amanda Morton
*Elizabeth Stacy


From Buster Keaton's Haunted House and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, humor and horror have gone hand-in-glove since the advent of film.  

Laughter has an uncanny knack for diffusing tension. A crafty filmmaker can prey on the heightened state of attention the audiences pays to the genre by subverting expectations with a well-placed joke. 

Hitchcock knew this best of all. While his stabs at pure comedy missed the target, the humor he squeezed from his thrillers is dazzling. 

A local Web series by creator/writer/producer/director Elizabeth Stacy, titled Zombie Socks: The Series, follows in this tradition. Set sometime after the Zombie Apocalypse, each webisode is shot in the style of a popular unscripted television show.

Stacy overcomes her limited resources with ambition, organization, and a practical flair for creative problem-solving that led her to apply for Zombie Socks to become the first series to become a post-merger SAG-AFTRA new media production in Georgia. CL caught up with Stacy to ask her a few questions about the show."
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From Buster Keaton's ''Haunted House'' and ''Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein'' to Mel Brooks' ''Young Frankenstein'', Sam Raimi's ''Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn'' and Edgar Wright's ''Shaun of the Dead'', humor and horror have gone hand-in-glove since the advent of film.  

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A local Web series by creator/writer/producer/director Elizabeth Stacy, titled [http://www.youtube.com/user/zombiesocksseries?feature=watch|''Zombie Socks: The Series''], follows in this tradition. Set sometime ''after'' the Zombie Apocalypse, each webisode is shot in the style of a popular unscripted television show.

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  string(1461) "       2013-04-04T14:33:00+00:00 Catching up with 'Zombie Socks' creator Elizabeth Stacy   Gabe Wardell 1985399 2013-04-04T14:33:00+00:00  
*Photo: Amanda Morton
*Elizabeth Stacy


From Buster Keaton's Haunted House and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, humor and horror have gone hand-in-glove since the advent of film.  

Laughter has an uncanny knack for diffusing tension. A crafty filmmaker can prey on the heightened state of attention the audiences pays to the genre by subverting expectations with a well-placed joke. 

Hitchcock knew this best of all. While his stabs at pure comedy missed the target, the humor he squeezed from his thrillers is dazzling. 

A local Web series by creator/writer/producer/director Elizabeth Stacy, titled Zombie Socks: The Series, follows in this tradition. Set sometime after the Zombie Apocalypse, each webisode is shot in the style of a popular unscripted television show.

Stacy overcomes her limited resources with ambition, organization, and a practical flair for creative problem-solving that led her to apply for Zombie Socks to become the first series to become a post-merger SAG-AFTRA new media production in Georgia. CL caught up with Stacy to ask her a few questions about the show.             13073098 7938356                          Catching up with 'Zombie Socks' creator Elizabeth Stacy "
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Article

Thursday April 4, 2013 10:33 am EDT

  • Photo: Amanda Morton
  • Elizabeth Stacy



From Buster Keaton's Haunted House and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, humor and horror have gone hand-in-glove since the advent of film.

Laughter has an uncanny knack for diffusing tension. A crafty filmmaker can prey on the...

| more...
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*Courtesy of Aryan Kaganof
*Anna Grimshaw gets solitary with Bill Coperthwaite.


This Friday, Film Love and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center will present the U.S. premiere of the newest film by local filmmaker and anthropologist Anna Grimshaw.

Over the course of a year, Grimshaw chronicled the daily life of William Coperthwaite, an artist and craftsman who - influenced by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the writings of Thoreau, and the back‐to‐the-land
movement of Scott and Helen Nearing - has lived and worked on 300 acres of wilderness in Machiasport, Maine for the last 50 years.

The resulting film, Mr Coperthwaite: a life in the Maine woods, Part One: Spring in Dickinson's Reach, is the first installment of four, one for each season.

As a filmmaker and an anthropologist, how do you describe a project like Mr. Coperthwaite?  

This is an interesting question, because many anthropologists (and others) think of ethnographic films as being about some kind of collective, groups of people. So focusing on a single/solitary individual is sometimes considered "not" anthropology - or there is a lot of uncertainty about what its value might be to anthropology. How might an individual illuminate a collective, what might an individual stand for in terms of something bigger?

But I have long been interested in solitude and in "devotion" - that is, in the different ways people make spaces for themselves in their lives and how these spaces might be thought of as spaces for secular, contemplative practice. I made an earlier film in Britain about a factory worker who had devoted his life to racing pigeons, and I was fascinated by the singularity and focus of his practice.  

Something similar attracted me to Bill C., except his whole life is about the creation of a contemplative space. By this I do not mean anything passive or spiritual but I refer to the very particular and self-conscious way that Bill inhabits the world. In making the film, I wanted to find out how Bill's life was constituted in the day-to-day practical activities of living in the woods. Anthropologists and filmmakers tend to get hung up on words and want explanations - thinking that anthropology or documentary should be informational or explanatory and the reality of people's experiences are rendered meaningful only when mediated through language. In this film, I wanted to persuade my viewers to observe, to explore and discover, become interested in the small details that I found interesting, and to be drawn into the world that unfolds on screen. In particular, I wanted to think about time as an integral part of understanding character.

In the work, I wanted to stay close to the ground, so to speak - I wanted the film's scale to reflect the scale of its subject (rather than inflate it)."
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*Courtesy of Aryan Kaganof
*Anna Grimshaw gets solitary with Bill Coperthwaite.


This Friday, [http://www.filmlove.org|Film Love] and the [http://thecontemporary.org/|Atlanta Contemporary Art Center] will present the U.S. premiere of the newest film by local filmmaker and anthropologist Anna Grimshaw.

Over the course of a year, Grimshaw chronicled the daily life of William Coperthwaite, an artist and craftsman who - influenced by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the writings of Thoreau, and the back‐to‐the-land
movement of Scott and Helen Nearing - has lived and worked on 300 acres of wilderness in Machiasport, Maine for the last 50 years.

The resulting film, ''Mr Coperthwaite: a life in the Maine woods, Part One: Spring in Dickinson's Reach'', is the first installment of four, one for each season.

__As a filmmaker and an anthropologist, how do you describe a project like ''Mr. Coperthwaite''?  __

This is an interesting question, because many anthropologists (and others) think of ethnographic films as being about some kind of collective, groups of people. So focusing on a single/solitary individual is sometimes considered "not" anthropology - or there is a lot of uncertainty about what its value might be to anthropology. How might an individual illuminate a collective, what might an individual stand for in terms of something bigger?

But I have long been interested in solitude and in "devotion" - that is, in the different ways people make spaces for themselves in their lives and how these spaces might be thought of [as] spaces for secular, contemplative practice. I made an earlier film in Britain about a factory worker who had devoted his life to racing pigeons, and I was fascinated by the singularity and focus of his practice.  

Something similar attracted me to Bill C., except his whole life is about the creation of a contemplative space. By this I do not mean anything passive or spiritual but I refer to the very particular and self-conscious way that Bill inhabits the world. In making the film, I wanted to find out how Bill's life was constituted in the day-to-day practical activities of living in the woods. Anthropologists and filmmakers tend to get hung up on words and want explanations - thinking that anthropology or documentary should be informational or explanatory and the reality of people's experiences are rendered meaningful only when mediated through language. In this film, I wanted to persuade my viewers to observe, to explore and discover, become interested in the small details that I found interesting, and to be drawn into the world that unfolds on screen. In particular, I wanted to think about time as an integral part of understanding character.

In the work, I wanted to stay close to the ground, so to speak - I wanted the film's scale to reflect the scale of its subject (rather than inflate it)."
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*Courtesy of Aryan Kaganof
*Anna Grimshaw gets solitary with Bill Coperthwaite.


This Friday, Film Love and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center will present the U.S. premiere of the newest film by local filmmaker and anthropologist Anna Grimshaw.

Over the course of a year, Grimshaw chronicled the daily life of William Coperthwaite, an artist and craftsman who - influenced by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the writings of Thoreau, and the back‐to‐the-land
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The resulting film, Mr Coperthwaite: a life in the Maine woods, Part One: Spring in Dickinson's Reach, is the first installment of four, one for each season.

As a filmmaker and an anthropologist, how do you describe a project like Mr. Coperthwaite?  

This is an interesting question, because many anthropologists (and others) think of ethnographic films as being about some kind of collective, groups of people. So focusing on a single/solitary individual is sometimes considered "not" anthropology - or there is a lot of uncertainty about what its value might be to anthropology. How might an individual illuminate a collective, what might an individual stand for in terms of something bigger?

But I have long been interested in solitude and in "devotion" - that is, in the different ways people make spaces for themselves in their lives and how these spaces might be thought of as spaces for secular, contemplative practice. I made an earlier film in Britain about a factory worker who had devoted his life to racing pigeons, and I was fascinated by the singularity and focus of his practice.  

Something similar attracted me to Bill C., except his whole life is about the creation of a contemplative space. By this I do not mean anything passive or spiritual but I refer to the very particular and self-conscious way that Bill inhabits the world. In making the film, I wanted to find out how Bill's life was constituted in the day-to-day practical activities of living in the woods. Anthropologists and filmmakers tend to get hung up on words and want explanations - thinking that anthropology or documentary should be informational or explanatory and the reality of people's experiences are rendered meaningful only when mediated through language. In this film, I wanted to persuade my viewers to observe, to explore and discover, become interested in the small details that I found interesting, and to be drawn into the world that unfolds on screen. In particular, I wanted to think about time as an integral part of understanding character.

In the work, I wanted to stay close to the ground, so to speak - I wanted the film's scale to reflect the scale of its subject (rather than inflate it).             13072913 7852369                          A few questions with Georgia filmmaker and anthropologist Anna Grimshaw "
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Article

Tuesday March 26, 2013 10:00 am EDT

  • Courtesy of Aryan Kaganof
  • Anna Grimshaw gets solitary with Bill Coperthwaite.



This Friday, Film Love and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center will present the U.S. premiere of the newest film by local filmmaker and anthropologist Anna Grimshaw.

Over the course of a year, Grimshaw chronicled the daily life of William Coperthwaite, an artist and craftsman who - influenced by the poetry of...

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